“Turing” is a play about the last days in the life of English mathematician Alan Turing.

Alan Turing (1912-1954) has made many important contributions to mathematics and logic, and is considered one of the pioneers of computer technology and the father of Artificial Intelligence. He was instrumental in breaking the “Enigma” code of the Nazis during WWII, a feat that allowed the Allies to defend their supply lines across the Atlantic and, ultimately, win the war. Two of Turing’s most important contributions to computing are his seminal paper on computable numbers and his paper on the “Imitation Game”. In the former he expands on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem; by assuming a logical machine Turing proved that there is no systematic way of knowing in advance whether such a machine could prove something (a mathematical theorem) to be true or not. In the latter, he envisaged a game whereby a human interrogator queries a “person” without knowing a priori if the person is a man or a woman. Turing showed that the only conclusion that the interrogator could make with regards to the person’s sex would be via his/her answers. Similarly, by replacing the “person” with an intelligent machine Turing argued that if the interrogator could not tell by the answers he got whether the “person” was human or mechanistic then the machine must be regarded as “truly intelligent”.


Read my notes on “Turing” here